D. Scott Meadows
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6).
Faith is the theme of Hebrews 11, for there it is described, illustrated by many specific examples of believers from redemptive history, and vindicated against charges of futility.
D. Scott Meadows
D. Scott Meadows
In your zeal to become the best Christian you can be, have you ever imagined there must be some little-known method or resource, familiar only to the most spiritually-minded believers, by which you, too, could make amazing and speedy progress in godliness? Yes, many of us suffer that delusion early on. John Newton proved himself a true “father in Israel,” teaching us better.
It seems that there is a certain desire in our day among professing “Calvinist” Christians to disregard, diminish, or dismiss what might rightly be called the “fundamentals” of the Calvinistic system of theology. From various quarters we are hearing the view expressed that “Calvinism is more than the 'Five Points'” - that it is more than the “TULIP” of Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace, and the Perseverance of the saints.
Dr. Alan J. Dunn
We must not doubt that the couple actually died at the moment Adam ingested the forbidden fruit. Although they did not immediately 'drop over dead', death nevertheless commenced its tyranny. Gen 3:7ff documents the actions of two dead people! Death is experienced essentially as a separation. We should think of death as separation rather than annihilation. Death is the severance of the living unions which God created. Creation is a living tapestry, a fabric of complementary components each knit together in mutual dependence having supportive functions. Death rips that living fabric asunder. In the couple's disobedience reality began to crack open. Divisions in the created order emerged. What God had joined together began to rip apart.
Election is God’s decree whereby, on His own free will, He has predestined certain men to salvation to the praise of the glory of His name (Eph. 1:4–6; 1 Thess. 5:9). Far from being a tangential doctrine, election is the golden thread that runs through the whole Christian system. Moreover, election is the friend of sinners—and therefore a most blessed doctrine.
Albert N. Martin
That which holds the mind is that which molds the life. That which holds the mind as conscious religious conviction is that which molds the life with conscious religious power. Although his readers already knew the truth and were established in it, Peter wanted to strengthen certain truths by conscious articulation, which would then serve as a vivid and perpetual reminder to them (2 Peter 1:12, 15).
You have heard a great many Arminian sermons, I dare say. But you have never heard an Arminian prayer, because the saints in prayer appear as one, in word, in deed, and mind. An Arminian on his knees would pray desperately like a Calvinist. He cannot pray about his free will; there is no room for it. Fancy his praying this way: “Lord, I thank thee that I am not like those presumptuous Calvinists. Lord, I was born with a glorious free will. I was born with power by which I can turn to thee myself. I have improved my grace. If everybody had done the same with their grace as I have done, they might all have been saved, Lord, I know that you do not make us willing if we are not willing ourselves. You give grace to everybody. Some do not improve it, but I do. There are many who will go to hell as though bought by the blood of Christ as I was. They had as much of the Holy Spirit given to them. They had a good chance and were as blessed as I am. It was not your grace that made us to differ. I know that it did a great deal, still I turned the point. I made use of what was given to me, and others did not. That is the difference between me and them.”
Chapter 4 of the London Baptist Confession of Faith immediately tells us the reason God made all things. He did not make the universe especially for man. He made it “for the manifestation of the glory of his eternal power, wisdom, and goodness.” That is, He made it to bring glory to Himself. When we consider that God called all things into being out of nothing, and when we consider the vast size of the universe and how large the sun and stars are, and when we behold the great power of the winds and the oceans, we realize that the One who made them has exceedingly great power. Paul wrote, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead” (Romans 1:20). Jeremiah wrote, “He has made the earth by His power” (Jeremiah 10:12). We are led to humbly adore and worship such an almighty God.